India to seek higher US mkt for gems, jewellery, handicrafts | business | Hindustan Times
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India to seek higher US mkt for gems, jewellery, handicrafts

business Updated: Mar 14, 2010 12:44 IST

The Commerce Ministry will impress upon the US trade office to facilitate increase in imports of gems and jewellery and handicrafts to the US from India, on the back of revival in the American economy.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma would be leaving for Washington on March 16, accompanied by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar.

"The US is our largest market for labour intensive sectors... and these issues would come up for discussion during Sharma's meeting with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk," an official said.

In 2008-09, exports of gems and jewellery worth $ 24.89 billion, leather $ 3.59 billion and handicrafts $ 1.7 billion to the US had a significant share in India's total shipments worth over $ 185 billion.

Stepping up of exports to the US, India's third largest trading partner, is crucial to meet India's export target of $ 200 billion for this fiscal.

During Sharma's visit, the two countries would be signing a Framework for Cooperation in Trade and Investment.

Bilateral trade aggregated to about $ 39.71 billion in 2008-09. Exports to the US were to the tune of $ 21.14 billion.

After being severely hit by the financial meltdown, the American economy has been witnessing growth in recent quarters and expanded by over 5 per cent in the last three months of 2009.